Learn a little more about yourself this holiday season – Part 1

During this time of celebration and excitement, take a minute to think back and reflect on 2015.

Welcome to the season of giving! The hustle and bustle of gift-giving, meal preparation and decorating can be overwhelming. This season can be exhausting for many. Trying to keep up with the social norms while balancing work and family obligations is a big task. Among all the responsibilities and activities, consider taking a moment of downtime to reflect.

Reflection is a process we often overlook in our personal and professional life. There is great value, personally and professionally, reflecting on our experiences. Research shows reflection is the most important part of the learning process. It can help our ability to problem solve and cope with challenging situations as well as contribute to our overall positive outlook on life. Learning about yourself is no easy task. It takes time and must be an intentional process. Socrates said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” The more we understand about ourselves, the better we can contribute to the world around us.

Some are fortunate enough to get a few days off for Christmas and New Year’s celebration. This is a prime opportunity for reflection. Looking back on the past year offers us a chance to learn and grow as we head into the New Year. Take a minute, grab a journal and make some notes. You can even engage your family in the process. Michigan State University Extension suggests answering a few of these questions:

  • What were you proud of this year? Did this happen because of hard work?
  • What did you do to help someone this past year? Could you have done more? Think about other ways to give back.
  • What was most frustrating about 2015? How did you react to the situation? Could you have reached out for support from people you trust?
  • What would you have changed or improved upon? Are there tools that can help the next time this situation arises?
  • What was your single greatest accomplishments this year? Consider the friends, family or associates that helped you achieve this.

By engaging in the reflective process, whether this is directly following an event or life happening, monthly or as an end of year activity, can be a powerful way to learn about yourself. Some may prefer to reflect in solitude while others would use this opportunity to share their findings. Either way, reflection is an important step in your growth as a person. Take a moment between gatherings for your own personal development. 

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